How do your customers find out about your business? For many small business owners, the first answer is "referrals". In this article, I'm going to give you some awesome hacks on how to get referrals for your small business.
Referrals are consistently at the top of the list in many surveys as one of the best ways to get new customers.
Did you know...
The importance of referrals for any business can't be understated. Here are some of the many benefits referrals have for your business:
With that said, here are some awesome ways on how to get referrals for your business...
Getting referrals for your business doesn't have to be difficult. With the right tactics, you are sure to get more leads and bring on more of your ideal clients.
Here we go!
This one kind of goes without saying, but it's got to be on the list.
Referrals start with a great customer experience and amazing your customers. A customer must be completely satisfied before they'll even think about referring your business to someone they know.
Did you know 86% of customers are willing to pay more for great customer experience?
So, not only will a great customer experience increase your referrals it can also increase what you are able to charge for your products or services.
In order to get referrals your business must "be referrable", and that starts with blowing away your customers expectations!
Looking for ideas on how to satisfy your customers? Check out these articles NOW...
You may get referrals without asking, but many customers need a prompt from you in order to refer.
Your business will receive significantly more referrals if you get in the habit of consistently asking for them.
It's critical you set up a step in your customer onboarding and fulfillment process to request referrals to ensure your "ask" becomes consistent.
I'm sure there are plenty of people who will disagree with me on this, but I think a lot of businesses ask for referrals way too early in the sales and fulfillment process.
I've seen "experts" recommend asking for referrals right after you sign up a new customer. In most cases, this makes no sense!
How can a customer feel comfortable referring you before they've had a chance to really experience your product or service? Asking for referrals too early will significantly reduce the number of referrals you receive.
Creating a referral program can be a great way to formalize your referral engine. Most referral programs are designed to motivate your customers to help you find new customers.
With a referral program, you are going one step further than simply asking for referrals, you are rewarding current customers for referring you to new customers.
Word of mouth marketing is fueled by your online reputation. Most people who are referred to your business will still go online to check you out.
Your online reviews are the social proof you want them to see. Great online reviews will confirm what they've already been told and make it that much easier for you to convert people who have been referred to actual customers.
Online reviews can absolutely help grow your business so it's worth your time to learn how to manage your online reputation.
You know what's better than getting a referral from a current customer? Getting a flood of referrals from one person!
I'm talking about referral partners (aka power partners). These are people who may not necessarily be customers of your business, but they are people who work with your ideal clients on a daily basis.
Here are a few examples:
You get the idea...
I know business owners who have built very successful businesses by simply focusing on building a network of referral partners that send them leads day in and day out. Believe me, this works!
Remember how I said you need to ask for referrals? Not only do you need to ask, but you need to let customers know you are going to ask ahead of time.
This is what I mean by setting expectations upfront. All you need to do is include a step early in your customer onboarding process to communicate this to new customers.
For example, if I use a quick video to welcome new clients onboard I might add language like this into the video...
"We are confident you will be blown away by the results you see in working with our company. If we meet this goal, we're going to ask you if you know any other people who'd like to experience the same results as you do."
Pretty simple, right? Find out where you can plug this step into your process.
Some customers may be happy with your business, but they don't refer you because they're not comfortable doing it, they're not sure how to do it, or they simply lack the time.
Make it easy for customers to refer your business by teaching or showing them how to do it when you ask for a referral and do as much of the heavy lifting for them as you can.
For example, give them a template-based email they can easily customize and send to people they know.
It's much easier for people to refer you when they can clearly understand who you are trying to serve. Who is your ideal client?
If your target market is too broad it will be much more difficult for people to refer you and/or the referrals you get will be lower in quality.
The more specific you can be about who you want to serve, the easier it will be for people to think of someone they can refer to you.
When a customer refers you, they are putting their reputation on the line. If you blow it, not only does it negatively impact you, but also impacts the person who referred you.
Can you eliminate the apprehension a customer might have in referring you business?
Here's what I mean...I know a real estate agent who has the following referral program:
"If you refer a client to us and they are not 100% satisfied at the end of the transaction, I'll pay both of you $1000 for your trouble."
How's that for helping to eliminate risk? He feels so confident in his ability to serve the client he's willing to put his money where his mouth is. Can you do something similar?
I hope you can use some of these hacks on how to get referrals to help your business.
Are you using any tips I didn't mention? I'd love to hear from you, just comment below.
It would be such an honor if you think this article is worthy of sharing too.
Are you looking for more solid local marketing tips and tricks? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Local Marketing.
Header image courtesy of Pexels.com.
Tim Fitzpatrick is the President of Rialto Marketing. At Rialto Marketing, we help local service-based businesses eliminate the confusion of marketing. As a marketing partner, we help clients put in place and manage a simple marketing plan so they can grow. Marketing your business shouldn't be a challenge. We can help.